Whether you prefer a simple, folding, lockback pocketknife like dad used to carry or you enjoy the utility of a Swiss Army Knife, pretty much everyone can agree that it’s always wise to have a sharp blade on hand. How many times have you reached in your pocket and found the perfect tool to pare an apple while hiking or cut the tag off a new jacket just in time for dinner with the in-laws? You’ve probably also used it to tighten a screw, clean your nails, or dig out a sliver in a pinch.
Still, it’s not easy to find the perfect EDC blade to meet your needs. With so many options to choose from, selecting a simple, yet sophisticated knife that can do all you want it to without a lot of bulky bells and whistles is no easy feat. Never fear, we’re happy to help with our list of the 10 best everyday carry knives for upgrading your current carry setup.
The James Brand Ellis Knife
This tiny pocketknife packs a punch thanks to the utility of a partially-serrated, drop point blade, a secure, lockback design, and the addition of a combination bottle opener and screwdriver that will also function as a scraper and pry bar. It features a stainless-steel blade and anodized aluminum casing that comes in your choice of black or silver. You’ll also enjoy a bail loop to add keys or clip this knife to a carabiner.
Gerber Fastball Folding Knife
This small but powerful knife certainly looks fast, with its angular blade and three masculine casing colors to choose from (black, urban grey, or flat sage). What EDC users are going to love, though, is the fast, safe, one-handed deployment, courtesy of Gerber’s B.O.S.S. technology featuring ball bearings for consistent, smooth action. Throw in a 3-position pocket clip for ambidextrous carry and this knife is a must-have for EDC aficionados.
Zero Tolerance 0566 Hinderer Pocket Knife
If you’re already a fan of the 0560 and 0561 models, you’re sure to appreciate this compact version, designed cooperatively by Zero Tolerance Knives and Rick Hinderer. The stainless-steel back and S35VN powdered steel blade make for a strong and durable EDC beauty that offers the practicality of easy grip with a textured G10 front scale. A lockbar stabilizer and left- or right-handed versatility add safety and convenience for users.
Kershaw Cryo II
It seems Rick Hinderer designs abound in the EDC knife market, including this practical and attractive knife that surpasses the original, award-winning Cryo by 20%. Stainless steel coated in matte gray titanium carbo-nitride is certainly eye-catching, not to mention strong. Then there’s the SpeedSafe feature for smooth opening, and the 3.25-inch blade, the better to cut and carve with. The addition of a handy, deep-carry clip keeps your knife within easy reach.
Benchmade Axis Flipper Knife
Want the feel of a full-sized knife in compact, EDC configuration? Benchmade accommodates with the Flipper, featuring a unique handle shape and the brand’s proprietary AXIS lock, which offers one-handed operation, as well as ambidextrous action. Thumb studs easily pull back to unlock and close the knife after you’ve locked it into the open position. Opt for the G10 handle in woodsy, textured brown and tan or bold, contoured black and blue.
Spyderco Para Military 2
CQI (constant quality improvement) is the name of the game at Spyderco, which is perhaps why the brand is always offering innovative alternatives to tried-and-true designs. This upgrade of a classic features a thinner blade and handle for barely-there carry, a compression lock for easy operation, and a four way clip for ambidextrous use. Fluid action comes courtesy of a smooth, bushing pivot system. It’s streamlined, refined, and ready to slide into the tightest of skinny jeans.
SOG Spec Elite II Automatic
To call this blacked-out blade stealthy would be an egregious understatement. It auto opens with the push of a button thanks to a spring force mechanism, making it a popular addition to military and law enforcement kits, and the blade features lightweight AUS-8 steel with a hard anodized machined aluminum handle. It’s fast, discreet, and easy to carry, with a reversible, low-carry pocket clip. Designed for cutting or piercing, this balanced blade is effective and versatile.
Taylor Stitch Drop Point Knife in Brass
This sweet, drop point knife definitely gets style points for shiny, solid brass handle plates, which make for a clean, streamlined design that will wear with use and develop a distinct patina particular to each user. It’s not enough that Taylor Stitch offers small batch runs; they also ensure that each product is unique. You’ll also get a stainless-steel blade that’s completely resistant to corrosion, plus a 150-grit sharpening stone.
Buck Knives 327 Nobleman Knife
To label a pocketknife elegant seems like farce, but you only have to glance at this artwork in satin finish and brushed stainless steel to see the truth of it. The slimline profile is rapier-like compared to most squat pocketknives, and the frame-lock features fewer moving parts, making for lightweight and streamlined EDC. It’s also warrantied against material and workmanship defects for the life of the knife. It’s one for the nobleman in all of us.
Kershaw Spoke Pocket Knife
A 2-inch blade might not sound sufficient for the many tasks required of an EDC knife, but when paired with a beefy, textured belly of a handle for optimal grip, you’ll be surprised by what you can manage with this mighty mite. SpeedSafe assisted opening offers smooth, consistent action, and the integrated flipper doubles as a finger guard for your protection. Black oxide coating lends stealth to this already discrete pocketknife.